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question to any practitioners here regarding heat pads?

lynnsyllynnsy Posts: 197
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a three level fusion one year ago Feb. 8th. I'm doing well, or a lot better than I was unless I over-do it, or do something stupid. My biggest constant pain comes from a change in barometer, as all of us spinal fusion patients know. I live in the mountains of Colorado, and for the past 48 hours we have went from, sunny, to rain, to cloudy, to snow, from warm to cold, it's been a real roller-coaster for 2 days. Yesterday was the worst for the barometer change, I was in more pain than I have been for a long time. I did not do anything stupid, as I have learned my limitations to escalate my pain, so I knew it was from the change in barometer.

I decided to lay on a heating pad most of the day, thinking that would relieve my pain, of course along with the percocets that I've been taking for a year. NOTHING helped. After laying on the heating pad most of the afternoon, I COULD NOT GET UP OFF THE COUCH without assistance. I haven't felt that much PAIN in a long long time!!!

My question is: Why has the heating pad NOW turned out to NOT be my friend anymore? It's the only thing I can connect to my excrutiating pain yesterday. Is it no more heating pad time? I woke up this morning feeling better, but that was after crying myself to sleep and taking 1/2 of a valium.


  • I'm sorry to hear of your pain. I have an infrared platinum heating pad. It's supposed to be able to penetrate 2&1/2 inches under the skin into your muscles etc. while a ordinary heating pad touches only the surface skin and not even a half inch in. These are all on sale now. My PM Dr prescribed it for me so I didn't have to pay the taxes. But due to the economy and things are being lowered in price everywhere. My pad was $280. but I've seen them on sale for much less. I hope you're feeling better. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I think you laid on it too long. Try using the heating pad at 20 minute intervals. In other words, leave it on 20 minutes, take it off 20 minutes. See if that helps.

    Also, if you can, try soaking in a really warm (water) bath tub or hot tub. But, don't stay in too long. Heat is good for temporary use, but it can work against you if exposed too long.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. Maybe you were just laying too long? Not sure, My heating pad is my best friend,,,lol...I even named it.. My boyfriend says I cuddle up to the heating pad like I used to cuddle up with him,,,so,,,,,,I named it,,,lol

    Good luck with your pain - keep us updated and let us know how you are doing...
  • I just want to send hugs your way from a fellow Coloradoan. I'm not in the mountains, but I know exactly what you mean about what's been happening with the weather here the last couple of days. And it looks like we're in for a rollercoaster week to come.

    Hang in there and I hope you feel better.
  • I know what you mean about laying to long on the heating pad and it making you feel stiff when you get up. This would happen to me years ago before I had any bad issues that I knew of. I have since gotten three heating pads and they all shut off automatically one after one hour and the other I use which is extra big will shut off automatically after 2 hours.
    Charry the one you mentioned sounds neat I go to rhuemy on the 7th I might mention it if it fits into conversation who knows maybe insurance would pay for it.
  • Thanks guys,.... sound like I've just been laying on it too long, cause yes it made me so stiff I couldn't stand up without making loud noises, and wanting to cry...

    I posted another question under "back surgery" that I would love your opinion before I purchase. Thanks again...
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